When the temperatures begin to drop, we often think about winterizing our homes and your boatlift is no different. It is critical to know how to prepare your boat lift so it can withstand colder weather. In addition to severe weather that often occurs during the winter months, colder temperatures pose risks that can be minimized by taking the proper measures.
Intense storms and ice can damage a boat lift if left unattended. Ice formation around the dock can create intense pressure that pushes the boat lift up and forces the dock out of proper position. When this type of lateral force occurs, the lifts and dock can be pushed apart, sustain structural damage or have snapped fixtures.
To mitigate these risks and ensure your boat lift is ready for winter, follow guidelines for winter storage for boat lifts and use best practices to secure it throughout the cold months.
Inspecting Your Boat Lift
To prepare your boat lift for winter, inspect the entire structure carefully to protect the equipment from ice, precipitation and colder temperatures.
1. Look for Worn Parts
Thoroughly check the entire boat lift and identify any worn parts. Identify potential issues and replace and repair them as needed. When you stay ahead of the boat lift’s wear and tear, you can help protect it from the harsh weather and icy conditions during the winter.
2. Check Lift Mobility
Ensure the lift can move freely without straining or sticking anywhere. If you notice any issues, handle repairs promptly to prevent lift components from getting stuck and breaking during the cold months.
3. Check Cables Conditions
Make sure all cables are in good condition. Check for any frayed or worn cables and mend or replace any damaged ones. Ensure integrity and strength to last through the winter.
4. Secure the Lift
Firmly secure the lift in case of storms that could batter it or pull it loose from the dock to make sure it can withstand tough weather without putting too much strain on the fixtures holding it to the dock.
5. Grease Check Bearings and Grease Points
Inspect all grease points and check bearings and grease each one as needed. Ensure they can move smoothly without causing unusual wear and tear.
6. Remove Electric Lift Motors
If you have an electric boat lift motor, take out the motor and store it in a secure place for the winter. This will enable better performance once the warmer months arrive.
7. Check Components
Inspect all rollers and wearable components and ensure they’re in good condition for the winter.
Where to Store Your Boat Lift
Once you’ve completed an equipment inspection, properly storing your boat lift during the winter months can provide further protection. Depending on the type of boat lift and storage conditions, you’ll have a few different options for winter storage.
Dock Bubbler Protection
If you have a pile-driven dock, a dock bubbler can help prevent ice from forming around your dock. Blocking ice buildup and pressure will add protection for boat lifts on fixed docks if it’s in an area with no ice movement. Keep in mind that areas that experience moving ice or currents during the winter may need more protection than a dock bubbler can provide.
Cable Boat Lifts
A cable boat lift is securely hung overhead and protected from cold water and ice buildup. To ensure safe storage, follow all guidelines in the owner’s manual for winterizing your equipment.
Hydraulic Boat Lifts
If your boat lift is in an area without ice flow, you can leave a hydraulic lift in the water for the winter. Be sure to flush the lines properly to protect the equipment from internal moisture.
Boat Lift Canopy
Your boat lift canopy should be removed during the winter months to prevent wind damage. RGC’s Quicklash attachment system makes removing and attaching your boat lift canopy a snap! This is a great time to wash your canopy fabric. Just be sure the canopy fabric is completely dry before storing it to prevent mold and mildew growth.
Get More Resources on Boat Lift Maintenace
When you use best practices to protect your boat lift in winter, you can get long-term use and reliable performance from your equipment. Preparation can help you preserve the structural integrity of the lift, fixtures and dock.
If you have additional questions on winterizing your boat lift, RGC Marine is here to help. We’re a trusted supplier of innovative and dependable boat lift and dock products for all your waterfront needs. Get in touch with us today for resources and assistance from our expert team.